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Monday, February 18, 2019

REVIEW: The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor @tlcbooktours @cjtudor @crownpublishing #ATBR2019 #allthebookreviews

The Hiding Place
by C.J. Tudor

Thank you to Crown Publishing and TLC Book Tours for this copy and stop on the tour.
As a fan of The Chalk Man, Tudor's debut, I was very much looking forward to this one.
Jessica and I had similar thoughts but different feels and I love it when we don't always quite match - see our full thoughts below and decide if this one may or may not be for you.

Publisher: Crown
Publish Date: February 5, 2019
288 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Horror

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang--the betrayal, the suicide, the murder--and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn't have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe's sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town--while avoiding the enemies he's made in the years since--is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn't the day his sister went missing. It was the day she came back. 

My Review:

OK. So this one is going to garner some VERY interesting reviews.  Here's the thing - while I was very meh about The Chalk Man up until the final scene - which changed the whole thing for me, I felt The Hiding Place read smoother and kept my interest from the first page.

Tudor, based on these two books, seems to like the bully/loner kid theme.  This main character was a little of both and struggling with not only his own very deep issues of addiction and long term grief but with returning to his home town where he is very clearly not wanted. (Yet another book that gives me great happiness to not have grown up in a small town.)

When things become all too similar to what happened to his sister to yet another family, he needs some answers and quite frankly, so did I.  The opening scene really snagged me, not gonna lie.  Based on that alone, I started to get maybe some changeling vibes and I don't know why but that continued to stick in my head even though it wasn't quite what it was.  Am I making sense?  Do you ever get an idea in your head about a read and then can't quite get yourself stuck off that idea even though it absolutely is not going in that direction? I almost thought it was until it went in a different direction and yet I couldn't stop holding on to this idea!

The thing with this book is that I had already heard a lot of King similarities and grumbles about The Chalk Man from some reviewers and this one is going to do the same.  Avid King readers are not going to be happy about the similarities that are all too familiar in this book to a certain very well loved book.  Those who aren't familiar with King will absolutely adore and love this book and like the thriller/horror mix.  Me?  Well I'm both an avid King reader and lover and while for some reason the light bulb didn't go off until a friend pointed it out, it was definitely an Ohhhhhhhhh moment and yet I STILL LOVE THIS BOOK.  Does this make me a horrible King fan? NOPE.  Sometimes you just get enraptured in a book and get blinders to what else is happening. Quite frankly, I absolutely see it now but I'm going off the exact feeling when I turned that last page and well I really was highly entertained and that last chapter made my little black heart go ok... ok now... ❤

To each their own my friends and this is one of the best things I love about reading and how subjective everything is. I felt Tudor gave a great story with some very flawed characters and creepy scenes.  You pick up this book and decide on your own which way you'll sway.  


Jessica's Review:

So like a lot of other thriller fans THE CHALK MAN was an extremely popular and well-liked debut last year. I was anxiously awaiting the release of CJ Tudor’s newest release because I loved the blend of thriller and some added horror to the mix. THE HIDING PLACE was a little harder to place for me – I love her writing and the way she weaves a thrilling story, but something just didn’t work for me.

Joe Thorne is doing something he never thought he would do – returning to his hometown. With a dark past he tried to escape, he must now face his old friends that have since turned against him, as well as his enemies in town. What happened all those years ago? Who was at fault? What really happened with his sister? All questions that Tudor has you wondering as she pulls you through the story with a good pace and enough building suspense.

This one was hard for me – this was very different from THE CHALK MAN for me. I think I’m more middle ground on this but I can see why this worked incredibly for other readers. I got major Stephen King vibes in this one, but things felt a little too similar to PET SEMATARY (a book that I love). I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. I’m all for paying homage to an author you admire and love, but there were too many similarities to the story for me.

If you’re a fan of some supernatural elements thrown in with your thrillers, then this will be perfect for you! If you enjoyed Tudor’s previous book, then I highly recommend picking this up. There is no denying that she can weave a suspenseful and intricate story and I will continue to look for her future books.

3/5 stars

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